Bill 21, the Employment Standards Amendments Act (Leaves to Help Families), 2014, passed third reading with all-party support in the Ontario legislature. The legislation will allow caregivers to focus their attention on providing care to loved ones without the fear of losing their job, said the government.
The legislation builds on the existing Family Medical Leave by creating three new job-protected leaves:
•Family Caregiver Leave: Up to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for employees to provide care or support to a family member with a serious medical condition.
•Critically Ill Child-Care Leave: Up to 37 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to provide care to a critically ill child.
•Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave: Up to 52 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for parents of a missing child and up to 104 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for parents of a child who has died as a result of a crime.
A doctor’s note would be required to qualify for Family Caregiver Leave and Critically Ill Child Care Leave, said the government, and the Critically Ill Child Care Leave and Crime-Related Child Death and Disappearance Leave are necessary to give families access to new federal benefits.